UF/IFAS Faculty Advisory Committee Minutes
12 November 2003
Members present: Jim Selph (Chair and Presiding), Doug Archer, Alison Fox, Marjorie Moore,
Gregg Nuessly, Larry Parsons, Jim Preston, and Ken Quesenberry.
Members absent: Lynn Bailey, Millie Ferrer, Viv Harris, Tim Hewitt, and Celia Hill.
Meeting called to order at 1:20pm by Chair Jim Selph. The agenda was distributed.
The Minutes: from the October meeting were reviewed. The motion to accept them, made by
Ken Quesenberry and seconded by Gregg Nuessly, was approved unanimously.
It was noted that Millie Ferrer has become the Interim Associate Dean for Extension and as an
administrator is no longer eligible for the FAC. A replacement would be identified from the
Vice-President Martin attended and made the following comments:
Shared governance and Union vote: Dr. Martin provided a copy of his email to Faculty Senate
Chair, Tony Brennan, clarifying Dr. Martin's views about the roles of County faculty. He
emphasized that County faculty are UF faculty, that they should by some mechanism be included
in the Senate and relevant parts of shared governance (although not apportioned by head-count)
but because they are also employed by the counties, they should not be included in the Union
vote or the Union. Four IFAS administrators have been named to testify whether IFAS is similar
to the rest of the University before the Administrative Law Judge at a hearing to be reported back
to the PERC: Bill Brown, Mike Spranger, Jane Luzar, and Harold Browning.
At the end of the FAC meeting the possible role of FAC in trying to help IFAS faculty members
understand the pros and cons of a Union vote, should IFAS be included, was discussed. It was
also suggested that the IFAS faculty representatives on the Faculty Senate should be identified
and encouraged to support inclusion of County faculty in the Senate. Possibly an IFAS caucus
could be established for the Faculty Senate.
Faculty bonuses: One-time bonuses between $1K and $4K will be made to 20% of faculty
nominated by their unit heads. Funding from the Provost's Office will cover State faculty and
IFAS funds will support County faculty.
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences: Wayne Smith will be Chair of a review
committee to evaluate mechanisms to improve the integration the Department of Fisheries and
Aquatic Sciences with other units on campus. The last Departmental Review was in 1992 and
since then it has not been easy to develop a comprehensive mission statement.
Transfer of geomatics faculty to IFAS: Four faculty members currently in Civil Engineering
have requested a transfer to IFAS. Professional surveyor organizations are fully supportive of
these faculty, the training that they provide, and their transfer to IFAS (including funding their
secretary for 5 years). IFAS will fund two of these 9-month appointments the salaries of the
others being transferred from Engineering. Their appointments include some research but are
mostly teaching (e.g., GPS) and an extension component which might include teaching some for-
profit short-courses. The transfer should be complete by January 1st after being voted out of their
existing department and into a suitable tenure home in IFAS.
Poultry Science degree: There are too few students specializing in Poultry Science at UF to
maintain a full undergraduate curriculum, but the Florida poultry industry is anxious that this
degree opportunity should remain. The industry will support $1 OK internships for upper division
undergraduates to attend a capstone program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison which
consists of 18 credit hours from 6 courses each of 3 credit hours. These will be attended in two 6
week sessions during one summer. The students will return to UF for the rest of their degree
program. UF faculty may be invited to teach in these courses.
2003/4 IFAS legislative theme/motto: "IFAS: Relevant and Responsive." The annual IFAS
budget is $238 million, half of which comes from state funding and the rest comes from grants,
income, gifts, etc.
Buildings at Ft. Lauderdale REC: Two new buildings are proposed for the 100 acres of land at
the Ft. Lauderdale REC. Florida Atlantic University plans to use 20 acres and IFAS would be
provided with 12,000 sq ft within their building. Nova Southeastern University plans to give UF
Foundation $5 million with the intention of getting an equal match from the Florida Legislature.
IFAS would be able to use half of the building's total 34,000 sq ft space. A bridge would be built
across College Avenue to join this building with the main Nova Southeastern Campus. Of the two
buildings, the Nova one is likely to be started first. The 30,000 sq ft existing IFAS building needs
$1.8 million for air conditioning and renovations. It is expected that either partners will be sought
(e.g., USGS, DACS, USDA) or the old building will be demolished.
Options for IFAS faculty appointments: Currently full-time appointments within the rest of UF
are for 9 months with 3 months off in the summer (when faculty can be paid by grants or hired for
teaching). Within IFAS, full-time appointments consist of 11 months with 1 month vacation and
any variation from this affects benefit coverage. Dr. Martin has requested that President Young
endorse a letter to be sent to the UF Benefits Office allowing IFAS faculty to retain full-time
appointments if they switch to a 9 month schedule, regardless of how the 9 months are
distributed through the calendar (e.g., not assuming 3 consecutive months off in the summer as in
other colleges). If this request is successful, then IFAS faculty could be offered the option of
11/11 month or 9/11 month appointments (which might include proposals for 4 day/week
arrangements, etc.) This option would only be available to existing faculty with the approval of
unit heads and provided that year-round responsibilities are fulfilled. Although annual salaries are
reduced for 9/11 appointments, faculty could have the option to buy-back 2 months from grants
which might result in a salary raise. All changes would be voluntary but if accepted by a faculty
member for 3 to 4 years, they might then become permanent. The job descriptions for new hires
will reflect the most appropriate full-time appointment. New appointments with 9/11 may initially
guarantee 11 months of pay but this could be reduced to 9 months once a research program is
established. Interest in such appointments has been expressed by about 40 faculty members.
This program would allow some salary savings that might be used to try to deal with salary
compression by bringing all existing Assistant Professors up to the $65K base rate that is now
offered to new hires.
Regionalization and draft Extension plan: Donn Shilling is expected to produce a white paper
before he leaves UF based on the discussions about regionalization of the Center Directors south
of the north edge of Lake Okeechoobee. Options include cross-unit sharing within regions (e.g.,
a soil scientist to cover a region rather than one at each REC). The Gulf Coast REC at Balm
(http://qcrec.ifas.ufl.edu/Balmupdates.htm) is intended to be such a regionally-, not just county-,
In an effort to simplify the focus of the many Extension design teams, seven initiatives have been
identified as the statewide goals and focus areas for Extension 2004-7. Members of the FAC
expressed concern as to whether all faculty members involved with Extension were aware of this
document, and exactly who was making these important decisions. Dr. Martin suggested that
Larry Arrington be invited to a FAC meeting to discuss these issues.
Dr. Martin departed the FAC meeting at 3:00pm.
Teaching Programs in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS): Dean Jimmy
Cheek joined the FAC to provide an annual report on the status of CALS. The College has had to
cope with last year's change in graduate student tuition payments but so far it has not been
necessary to use funds assigned to indirect costs or to withdraw funds from faculty grants that
were obtained before the increased tuition payments were known. It is of concern within CALS
that these options seem to be considered acceptable by the upper UF administration.
The number of CALS graduate students of 938 is the highest ever with a 40% growth between
1989 and 2003. CALS is the 4th largest program of its type in the US (behind Texas A&M, U
California -Davis, and Cornell). Matching assistantships provided by CALS have resulted in the
highest ever number of graduate students at RECs and such assistantships will be continued
next year. New programs such as the Doctor of Plant Medicine (40 students) are increasing
enrollment and others are being considered such as Animal Molecular and Cellular Biology and
further terminal, professional degrees. There does, however, continue to be an uneven
distribution of graduate students between faculty members. It is likely that there will be an
increased expectation that faculty will have graduate students, especially at the PhD level, for
Tenure and Promotion. The Provost is encouraging graduate student growth for 4 more years.
CALS continues to have strong undergraduate programs with UF professional schools looking
favorably upon CALS graduates (who comprise half their intake). A review has been conducted
of majors with significant enrollment growth potential. Extension and research internships are
increasing and the diversity of minors offered draws many students into CALS programs. Dr.
Cheek will send FAC an update on the status of the proposed undergraduate Biology program.
The ballot of faculty who were associated with the College of Natural Resources and the
Environment resulted in 2/3 vote to approve the change to the School of Natural Resources and
the Environment (SNRE) and 1/3 against, but only 64 of the 150 eligible faculty voted. The
Faculty Senate will consider the issue on November 20th. SNRE is a "virtual" school with no
tenure-accruing faculty so it is important to be sure that faculty, regardless of their college, get
appropriate credit for teaching/advising students in such interdisciplinary programs. In addition to
the Interdisciplinary Ecology program offered by SNRE, there is a proposal for a graduate
Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences degree program (particularly supported by the
Department of Soil and Water Sciences, College of Engineering, and CLAS). There is also a
proposal for an Environment Institute. Dr. Cheek would like to see the SNRE be allowed to
demonstrate its campus-wide impact for a couple of years before other such programs are
Minutes respectfully submitted by Alison Fox, FAC Secretary.
Meeting adjourned at 4:1 Opm.